AUSTIN, Texas -- A Republican Texas lawmaker plans to introduce a tough immigration measure similar to the new law in Arizona, a move state Democrats say would be a mistake.
Rep. Debbie Riddle of Tomball said she will push for the law in the January legislative session, according to Wednesday’s editions of the San Antonio Express-News and Houston Chronicle.
"The first priority for any elected official is to make sure that the safety and security of Texans is well-established," said Riddle, who introduced a similar measure in 2009 that didn’t get out of committee. "If our federal government did their job, then Arizona wouldn’t have to take this action, and neither would Texas."
The Arizona law would require local and state law enforcement to question people about their immigration status—and make it a crime for immigrants to lack registration documents.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told a U.S. Senate hearing Tuesday that a Justice Department review is under way to determine the law’s constitutionality.
State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, a San Antonio Democrat and former president of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators, called the law "extremely damaging and hateful."
Van de Putte predicted failure for any similar measures in Texas and said the GOP would suffer politically for such a move.
Asked about the Arizona law, GOP Gov. Rick Perry and his Democratic challenger, Bill White, emphasized through spokespeople that immigration is a federal responsibility.
Jim Harrington, of the Texas Civil Rights Project, predicted any similar effort in Texas would fail because Texas has "a different relationship with the Hispanic community."
"You can take the political temperature by just looking at Rick Perry being quiet," Harrington said.
For what President Obama had to say about the Arizona law Click Here
Mexican President Calderon also opposes the bill Click Here for Details
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